OUR JOURNEY SO FAR
The quarry was established in 1964 by Blue Circle cement works, their aim was to mine limestone and produce cement. The quarry provided over one hundred jobs in the Dale.
2001 – 2002 – Lafarge buys Blue Circle – Quarry Closure
In 2001 Lafarge, bought Blue Circle. Just one year on Lafarge announced the Eastgate cement works would close. This meant the loss of over 200 jobs in Weardale and was a huge blow for the rural communities, many moved away.
2003 – Geothermal Explored
PB power and Newcastle University began to explore the Geothermal properties that lay underneath Eastgate Quarry.
2004 – Borehole Drilled
The first Borehole was drilled on the quarry grounds to help determine what was underground. This borehole was drilled to a depth of 995m. One element that showed on the results was Lithium.
2005 – Cement Works Demolished
In 2005 Weardale said goodbye to the Cement works. The chimney, silos and outbuildings were all demolished by controlled explosions. This was a sad time in Weardale as many had been affected.
2010 – Second Borehole Drilled
After positive signs of natural geothermal properties and minerals a second test site borehole was drilled.
2015 – New Owner
In 2015 the land was bought by Westernhope Limited. The site had been bare and unused for a number of years so plans were developed to start making use of the land again. This included the ITV show Beowulf which used the top quarry for its set.
2016 onwards – Demand for Lithium Grows
Lithium demand began to grow due to new economical needs in England and Europe.
2020 – Weardale Lithium is Established
Weardale lithium began to become more than a concept in 2020 after, it was confirmed lithium enriched brine had been discovered within the ground under the Eastgate Quarry site. Weardale Lithium then began to develop its plan to provide a greener and more sustainable future.
As a green energy company Weardale Lithium plans to extract lithium with minimal change to the landscape, create jobs in this rural area and support the UK towards a greener future.
2022 – North East Future Resources
Weardale lithium proudly held their first conference in the Mining Institute in Newcastle city centre. The North East Future Resources Conference (NEFR) highlighted the opportunities in the North East to responsibly extract metals and minerals, its emergence as a hub for high-value mineral processing including Giga-factories for battery manufacturing and electric car development, as well as alternative and renewable energy sources.